Macromantics: Ausssie Hip-Hop Export

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Aussie MC Romy Hoffman has a lot on her mind, which quickly becomes clear when listening to her full-length debut as Macromantics. On Moments in Movement, her train of thought runs wild, whether she's spitting with bizarre braggadocio or melancholy introspection. Lines like "Everyone's just trying to jump on the bandwagon/But I'm just chasing the back of a damn dragon" (from "Bandwagon") show this up-and-comer is as in touch with fantasy as she is reality.

"My thoughts are all scattered and cluttered," Hoffman explains of her abnormal lyrical approach. "I go on tangents and I wanna talk about myself and philosophy and how I fit into the world at large and the cosmos and chaos. And you're allowed to do that in hip-hop. It's a really post-modern form of writing."

Rhyming wasn't always Miss Macro's chosen form of expression. Originally a guitarist, she made a name for herself in the mid-'90s by playing with Ben Lee's now disbanded pop-punk band Noise Addict. While touring with Noise Addict in America, then-15-year-old Hoffman discovered and fell in love with hip-hop.

"Everyone's voice is important and should be heard, and that's what really spoke to me about hip-hop," says Hoffman. "It was saying something about society and culture and blending thoughts about self and philosophy and politics. It became a genre of music and a genre of writing that I found to be perfect to get my voice across."

Hoffman started sharpening her rhymes, but opportunities for MCs in the Land Down Under were scarce. Thus, in the early 2000s, she moved to America to record, and found no shortage of inspiration. As the war in Iraq began to spin out of control, she recorded Hyperbolic Logic, an EP full of dark, stream-of-consciousness rhymes ignited by the climate in the U.S. "I was kind of overwhelmed," she admits. Moments in Movement was recorded back in Australia, and it finds Hoffman lightening things up a bit with catchier songs (such as the progressive "Scorch") and genre-bending producer Tony Buchen (a.k.a. Buchman) behind the boards. That's not to say that this album is less socially conscious–all of Hoffman's life experiences are reflected in her imaginative freestyles.

"The way stars twinkle at night is going to affect my writing as much as who gets into power next and what happens in Iraq," she says. "I feel what I do is journalism–I'm commenting on all of that stuff."